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Parasite Immunol. 1998 Jun;20(6):293-302.

Immunoregulation in experimental murine Trypanosoma congolense infection: anti-IL-10 antibodies reverse trypanosome-mediated suppression of lymphocyte proliferation in vitro and moderately prolong the lifespan of genetically susceptible BALB/c mice.

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Department of Veterinary Microbiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.


We infected highly susceptible BALB/c and relatively resistant C57BL/6 mice with cloned Trypanosoma congolense and followed the effects of these infections on the circulating parasite numbers, mouse mortality and cytokine expression. C57BL/6 mice controlled their parasitaemia and survived for up to 163 +/- 12 days, while BALB/c mice could not control their parasitaemia and succumbed to the infection within 8.4 +/- 0.5 days. Susceptible BALB/c mice had dramatically higher plasma levels of IL-10 than the resistant C57BL/6 mice from day 7 forward. This was preceded by an earlier and higher level induction of splenic IL-10 messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in the infected BALB/c mice. There was a strong negative correlation between the splenocyte proliferative responses to Concanavalin-A (Con-A) and their production of IL-10 in these infected BALB/c mice. Co-treatment of the Con-A-stimulated spleen cell cultures with monoclonal anti-IL-10 antibodies, but not isotype-matched control antibodies, could completely reverse this suppression of the splenocyte proliferative response. Finally, in three experiments, anti-IL-10 antibody treatment in vivo reduced the peak circulating parasitaemia of infected BALB/c mice by 43% and increased their median survival periods by 38% relative to isotype-matched control antibody-treated mice.

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